Sunday, February 5, 2012

Quick Side Dish: Zucchini with Golden Raisins and Pine Nuts

I'm trying to find more quick, easy vegetable side dishes to serve at meals.  Right now, I don't have many in my regular rotation.   I think this zucchini dish will make it onto my list.  It's from Claudia Roden's New Book of Middle Eastern Food.  I served it with some baked falafel.  The combination of pine nuts and raisins is, according to the book, something that the Arabs brought all the way to Spain and Sicily.  The sweetness of the raisins and the nuttiness of the pine nuts go well together. I used a little extra of both.  Normally, I think more lemon juice is the proper solution to any cooking problem.  But, in this case, I think that there could have been less.  I used about 1 Tbsp of lemon juice and next time I'd use maybe half that.  This side dish took less than 15 minutes to make, including prep time! 

Zucchini with Golden Raisins and Pine Nuts
Serves 2 as a side
from the New Book of Middle Eastern Food

1 zucchini (or enough to have about 1/2 pound of zucchini), thinly sliced
1 Tbsp golden raisins (or currants, or regular raisins. I doubled this because I really like them)
1 Tbsp pine nuts
1/2 tsp dried mint (optional, but I think it adds to the dish)
~ 1 Tbsp lemon juice
Salt and pepper
2 Tbsp olive oil

1) Heat the olive oil and briefly saute the zucchini with the pine nuts and raisins, about 3 mins.
2) Add mint, salt, and pepper and continue to saute until the zucchini is tender.  About 5-7 minutes.
3) Transfer to a bowl and toss with lemon juice.  This can be served hot or cold. Easy!

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